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Greenbrier balloon release

The Greenbrier community is trying to show their love and support, and send a message of hope to the survivors of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

The Greenbrier community is trying to show their love and support, and send a message of hope to the survivors of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

Roughly 80 people gathered on the Greenbrier High School football field to release balloons in memory of those who lost their lives.

20 pink, 6 blue, and the rest were white balloons released Sunday afternoon, signifying the lives lost. Organizer Monica Thomas says she has no words to describe how she feels about what happened. "I'm just speechless. I tear up just thinking about it."

Some people brought their own balloons or could purchase one at the field for $1. Thomas says she wanted to bring the Greenbrier community together to show how important she feels it is to support each other. Thomas says what happened in Newtown, Connecticut can happen to anyone anywhere. "I can't imagine what the families are going through. It's just unbearable to think about."

Those who participated in the balloon release listened to a poem and the names of each victim read. Thomas says she thinks the whole country is hurting, and what happened in Connecticut is weighing heavy on everyone's hearts and minds.

Leslie Buddenberg says no matter where you live, people feel sorrow over the shooting and are grieving. "The community here is miles away, but I think they're going to be a lot closer this Christmas season. I think it's definitely taking a toll on everybody."

Both Thomas and Buddenberg say they feel it's important for the communities around the country to come together and show support for the families. "People do care, and the world does have happy people, and everything is not horrible."

Organizers hope after they've pay for the expenses of the balloons and helium, they'll be able to donate about $100 to the victim's memorial funds.
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